By TRT Staff with notes from worldlacrosse.sport
Last week, World Lacrosse announced a pair of 2023 awards, with Steve Stenersen receiving the Lifetime Award and Cheryl MacNeill receiving the International Officiating Award.
Stenersen was selected for the highest honour bestowed by World Lacrosse after dedicating more than 35 years of his life to the growth and development of lacrosse. According to World Lacrosse, he is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and played college lacrosse at the University of North Carolina. He was a part of two NCAA championship teams, serving as captain in his senior season. He continued his playing career with the Mt. Washington Club after college and was a professional player in the inaugural years of the National Lacrosse League. Stenersen was inducted to the USA Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2021.
He served as the CEO of USA Lacrosse, which is the sport’s National Governing Body in the United States, from 1998 to 2021 after leading its formation. He also served on the World Lacrosse board of directors as its vice president from 2014 to 2022.
According to World Lacrosse, “under Stenersen’s leadership, USA Lacrosse generated more than $400 million to provide the infrastructure and resources necessary to fuel the sport’s domestic growth. During his tenure, the organization’s annual operating budget expanded to more than $22 million, USA Lacrosse membership increased to more than 440,000, total organizational assets grew from $4 million to $40 million and United States participation quadrupled to more than 900,000 players. Prior to USA Lacrosse, Stenersen served as executive director of the Lacrosse Foundation – one of eight organizations that merged to establish USA Lacrosse – from 1984 to 1998.”
Stenerson later chaired the International Lacrosse Development Committee from 1993 to 2003, a collaboration between the International Lacrosse Federation and the International Federation of Women’s Lacrosse Associations to centralize international development initiatives.
He was then selected to serve on the eight-person Unification Task Force that led to the merger of the ILF and IFWLA in 2008 and formed the Federation of International Lacrosse, the sport’s first unified international governing body that is now known as World Lacrosse.
During his tenure as the World Lacrosse vice president, Stenersen chaired the search committee for the organization’s first CEO in 2017. He also chaired the Blue Skies Working Group, which resulted in membership approval of the sixes discipline, which positioned the sport for greater international growth and Olympic inclusion, and an evolved World Lacrosse championship structure and event calendar.
According to World Lacrosse, MacNeill was been selected as the 2023 recipient of the International Officiating Award, which is presented to individuals who have made a significant impact worldwide to the growth and development of lacrosse officiating, while demonstrating the highest standards as an official.
“MacNeill has traveled extensively around the globe to assist several countries with their officiating development and has been instrumental in the design and delivery of the officiating program within Canada. She played for Canada at the 1989 and 1993 Women’s Championships, and was a coach for Canada at the 1995 and 1999 Women’s U19 Championships, making her one of the few figures in lacrosse to play, coach and officiate at world championships,” wrote World Lacrosse.
MacNeill is certified as a women’s field official in Canada and has been since 1989. She has been officiating at the international level for twenty years, presiding over multiple world championship medal games. She serves as the chair of international events at Lacrosse Canada and served on the World Lacrosse Rules Committee for more than a decade.